The Rainiers 2016 season came to an end on Saturday night, a week before it was expected.
Tacoma lost a tense 5-4 game to El Paso, and the Chihuahuas won the best-of-five Pacific Conference Finals, three games to one.
El Paso’s Hunter Renfroe – the league MVP – was 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts during the first three games of the series. But in Game Four, he singled and scored in the second inning, doubled and scored in the fourth inning, and lifted the go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the eighth which turned out to win the game.
It seemed like Tacoma was the favorite in the series, and confidence was at a high after the Rainiers Game One win. But El Paso won three straight games, getting some great pitching, and even won the final two games at Cheney Stadium where the Rainiers went 46-26 in the regular season.
We can do nothing except credit the Chihuahuas for playing a good series, and wish them the best in the PCL Championship Series which starts on Tuesday in El Paso.
It took an extra game, but Oklahoma City did the same thing El Paso just did.
Trailing two games to one, Oklahoma City won two straight road games at Nashville to win the American Conference Finals.
Game Five on Sunday evening was a dramatic back-and-forth game which Oklahoma City won, 10-9. O’Koyea Dickson hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the eighth inning to give OKC the 10-9 lead. Nashville loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Dodgers reliever Jacob Rhame escaped the jam by getting two pop-ups.
I guess I’m supposed to pick a winner here, but I went 0-for-2 on my opening round picks. Let’s go with Chihuahuas in four games.
There was much disappointment and sadness in the Tacoma locker room after Saturday’s loss, but three players received good news.
The Mariners called up pitcher Cody Martin, infielder Mike Freeman, and first baseman Dan Vogelbach.
Martin and Freeman have gone back-and-forth between Tacoma and Seattle this year, but this is the first call-up for Vogelbach. With Adam Lind suffering a minor injury yesterday, Vogelbach may find himself getting more at-bats than originally expected.
We wish them all the best, and hope they play well and the M’s keep winning games.
- Here’s the report from The News Tribune on the Rainiers season-ending loss.
- The best report on the American Conference Finals Game Five comes from MiLB.com.
- Dan Vogelbach made Baseball America’s postseason Triple-A All-Star team.
- The Mariners finished a road sweep of the A’s to stay in the wild card hunt (updated standings included).
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook leads off with Ben Gamel, and notes that today is Pat Listach‘s birthday. Happy birthday, Pat!
We’ll be back with brief posts all week following the PCL Championship Series and Double-A Jackson’s bid for a Southern League title. Check back on Tuesday.